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6 April

Page history last edited by PBworks 18 years, 3 months ago

Thursday 6 April

 

Arabella ChurchillNo shows this morning, so Hags has a little lie-in and I do internet, then we have a massive badge making session

 

At 12.30 we meet Doug of Amurt and make lots more plans. They are setting up all sorts of different "gigs" for us and being very helpful.

 

Professor in a tiny room

 

Doug leads us to Khoong Raya Barracks (it is very difficult finding your way around here - many of the taxi drivers even don't know where camps and barracks are) where we meet Andi, the camp co-ordinator. He is lovely, a university professor, and speaks really good English. He was probably quite well-to-do before the tsunami (as were many of the people in the area) and it must be very hard for him living in such a tiny room (which has been separated into 2 even tinier rooms with a plywood wall) in this depressing barracks. But like everyone we have met so far, he is just getting on with life as far as he is able. He is very helpful, and after Haggis has shown him a few hat tricks, is very enthusiastic about our coming to do a show. We arrannge to come and do the show from 5-6 on Friday 21st April, the day after we get back from Pulau Weh. There are 2,700 in camp, of whom 300 are children - this seems a very low percentage of children, but I didn't like to ask why for fear that the answer would be that a very high percentage of children died in the tsunami.

 

We head back to hotel and I do more internet work, etc.

 

Are you missionaries?

 

We re-pack all our equipment and take a taxi out to Panti Asuhan Nimals (a "Daya" or traditional religious school) which Muslim Aid has set up for us. The original number of children we had been given was 100, but I asked them to check as the numbers have been a bit squewhiff, and the new number of 150 is spot on. When we arrive it is not clear that they are actually expecting us, so we all stand around for a bit, humming and hawing (well as far as you can with neither side being able to speak the other's language!) An Inspector-type bloke turns up and starts questioning us about religion. We eventually realise that he is worried we might be missionaries! No, no, no, we say - absolutely not - we can't stand missionaries - we're just here to do a show and make some badges and let the children have some fun. He seems reassured and we are shown to an OK size building, and the children start to arrive. They are great kids. As we have no interpreter, I demonstrate how to make a badge, and they "get it" very fast and really enjoy it and make some really attractive badges. A young boy turns up, who speaks a bit of English so he does some interpreting for us, which is great.

 

Unwholesome snacks from an NGO

 

Hags does a really good show. There is a boy who plays a rather dirge-like tune on the guitar for Haggis to juggle to. We make sure that he is properly applauded, and then Hags does his hat routine to Frank Sinatra's "I Get A Kick Out Of You", which it has to be said makes the juggling go with more of a sparkle!

After the show I take the parachute out into the yard and we play some games, including the ever-popular Parachute Football and Hags does a bit of a juggling workshop. During this period an NGO arrives - about 6 men unload themselves from a very smart vehicle, hand out extremely unwholesome-looking snacks and sweets, photograph the children and then leave again! Nothing wrong with distributing food, but I do think it should be wholesome. What about an apple (they have really beautiful apples out here) a mango, a carton of milk and just one lollipop? That would be healthier and more sensible than crisps, chocolate bars and lollipops, surely. I felt like taking them to task about it, but just didn't have the energy for a confrontation - I must not be so feeble in future!

 

A house for £662

 

We had dinner at the County Steak House (because you can rent computers and go online there, and our hotel internet office closes at 5.00 pm most unhelpfully) and met up with Ronald Ritchey of IDES, the small American charity that is building the very well-priced temporary housing in the South West. We look at pictures of the houses on his computer - they really look perfectly satisfactory, and are very pretty once people have painted them up. They only cost £662 each, so Michael's money would pay for 150 houses, which would be wonderful.

 

 

We go back to the hotel and have a huge badge making session before bed.

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